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The national capital brazenly defied the Supreme Court orders against bursting firecrackers on Diwali even as a miniscule part of the city chose health over toxic smog.

The impact of the orders by the top court that regulated timings for bursting them as well as kind of crackers, was less than successful with the city covered in a blanket of haze and on Thursday morning.

Areas in east Delhi like Mayur Vihar, IP Extension, Patparganj, Ashok Nagar, Malviya Nagar, Kishangarh, Saket, Chirag Dilli in South Delhi, Moti Nagar, Mundka, Bawana, Vikaspuri, Punjabi Bagh, Rajouri Garden in west Delhi failed miserably to abide by the ruling as residents burst crackers with impunity.

People also violated the two-hour window laid by the court for fireworks, bursting before and well after the 10 PM deadline.

“I could hear booms till midnight. People are so foolish. The court passed the orders for our betterment but no one is bothered,” said Arun Dayal, a resident of IP Extension. “It was not kids but adults who were celebrating the festival of lights as the festival of noise and poisonous air. I tried to reason with a few neighbours who started fireworks as early as six in the evening. They started fighting with me,” said Anita Maheshwari, living in Moti Nagar.

“Despite the limitation on the fire-crackers and several intimations by us, the residents burst crackers on the road till late evening. It was disappointing, but we did our best to guide them right. By midnight there was a thick layer of smog in the air,” said Dipu Madan, President, RWA of B-block Paschim Vihar.

The court had also barred the sale of normal firecrackers, permitting only green crackers which are yet to hit the market. Some particular types like the ladi (string) bomb were also banned in the October 22 verdict.

The city, however, reverberated with loud and incessant bangs of crackers till late. Residents claimed to have travelled to adjoining cities outside National Capital Region to get their fix of Diwali noise.

“Crackers were being sold in Delhi though they were tad expensive. So I went to Rohtak to purchase them,” said Manish Dahiya of Rohini.

Meanwhile, a small part of Delhi was still sensitive towards respecting the court. Places like Lajpat Nagar, Defence Colony, Rabindra Nagar, parts of Dwarka, Greater Kailash-I,II remained noise and smoke-free. In Lajpat Nagar III, a group of residents took upon themselves to create awareness about the harmful effects of pollution caused by fireworks- from sending messages on Whatsapp to putting pledges outside the home and pasting posters.

“We started visiting each and every home a week before Diwali. We also spoke to kids in parks, advising them to have a cracker-free festival this year,” Vivek Gugnani, a resident of Lajpat Nagar III told DNA.

The colony which has hundreds of houses also set a unique precedence of celebrating community Diwali by releasing Chinese lanterns in the evening. He, however, expressed lack of support from police in reigning in those who violated the order. “The SHO at the area police station expressed his helplessness in a crackdown on those who were breaking the rules. He simply shrugged off his shoulders when we approached him,” claimed Gugnain. Jagdish Gupta from Defence Colony, on the other hand, shared how the residents did not burst “a single cracker”. “We abided by the court orders as it is necessary to give our future generations a healthy and pollution free environment,” he said.

NOISE CRACKS OPEN GIANT HELLHOLE 

The atmosphere is now is filled with venomous chemicals which, in long-run, will cause a spurt in diseases, warn experts 

  • 550 – Cases of violation of the Supreme Court order recorded with the Delhi Police  
  • 271 calls – were recorded by the Delhi fire department till 8 am on Thursday  
  • 104 cases – of burns were registered with Safdarjung Hospital between 9 am on Nov 7 and 9 am on Nov 8   
  • 2776 kg – firecrackers were seized on Thursday, the biggest ever seizure in just a day, police said

THE BAN

  • The Supreme Court had allowed bursting of firecrackers from 8 pm to 10 pm only on Diwali.    
  • The apex court had also directed and permitted the manufacture and sale of only “green crackers”. 

SIDELIGHTS

Entry of trucks carrying essential commodities such as fruits, vegetables, milk, medicines etc, in Delhi will not be allowed from 11 pm, November 8, to 11 pm, November 10, Environment Pollution Control Authority said on Thursday.

P58 people were booked under Section 188 of IPC in Gautam Budh Nagar on Thursday. According to police data, the highest number of violations were recorded in Sector 20 police jurisdiction at 24, followed by Sector 24 police at 11. 

7 violations were reported from Phase 2, 6 from Sector 49. Meanwhile, Lajpat Nagar Phase III also set a unique precedence of celebrating community Diwali by relea-sing Chinese lanterns. Also, 5 out of 271 emergency calls were related to animal-rescue operation.

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